27. Is that the best you can do?

"What should you do when someone asks you if that is the best you can do?  Simply say yes."

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This seven-word strategy has the power to save you thousands of dollars each year.  If you use this seven-word question seven times you will save money.  I use this strategy every chance I get.

Here is an example. I had a meeting in San Jose, California and when I called to reserve a room the price was $289 for one night.

My reply was $289 FOR ONE NIGHT? I live in Oklahoma, that's a month's rent, including utilities! The lowest I could get them down to was $269.

Instead of taking the room I decided to drive around looking for something a little less expensive. I came across a name brand hotel and asked the clerk how much a room was for the night. The woman behind the counter said $189. I decided to use the "is that the best you can do" question - also called "the squeeze" - and see if I could get a discount.

My first tactic was to use price shock. She came down to $169. Next I asked her if that was the best she could do. She came down to $149. Then I asked her if she had any specials going on and she lowered the price to $99. I asked her one more time if she could do any better explaining that I was on a tight budget and anything over $100 (including taxes) would cause me a lot of problems.

She lowered the price to $89!

TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS less than what the first price I was given when I first came to town! There are several things she could have done to get a higher price.

First, she came down too easy and too fast. If she had been slightly reluctant I would have stopped asking for a lower price.

Second, she could have said it was obvious that you have not checked the price at the Hilton - I would have stopped asking for the lower price.

Third, she could have said she had to check with the manager (higher authority) and walked in the back room for a moment - returning, she could have said the manager would not let her go any lower (even if the manager was not in the office).

Fourth, when I was shocked at her price, she could have acted surprised at my shock. This would have stopped me by making me feel slightly embarrassed - well, maybe a normal person would have been embarrassed.

This seven-word statement has saved me an untold amount of money over the years.

I was recently in Los Angeles working with a group of sales people and the "is that the best you can do strategy" was thoroughly explained. One of the sales people called me the next day and said he was able to save TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS on a software program he was buying.

I was working with a group of sales people in Las Vegas and a sales person called me the next day and said he was able to save EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS on a landscape project he was purchasing for his new home.

I was in Allentown Pennsylvania and one of the managers called me the next day and said he was able to save FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS on a contract he was working on.

What should you do when someone asks you if that is the best you can do?

First, simply say yes.

Second, if they insist on a lower price you can consult with your "higher authority."

Third, if they still insist you can turn your higher authority into a "bad guy".

Fourth, if they still insist on a better price and you feel that to give in a little will guarantee the sale, you might come down on your price a very small amount and act as if you are really going out on a limb and taking a chance (reluctance).


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